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Katy Trail Rock Island Spur Comments

The trail is hard to pick up from town, the depot is great. If you do have come from town to the trail beware the folks of Sedalia don't give much leeway -- this was the only town I had this problem in -- nearly run over 3 times. I wasn't looking forward to this leg of the trail, just b/c I've been through Sedalia a thousand times on the way to the lake and back and it always seemed pretty bleak, but much to my surprise the trail was beautiful with trees and creeks.
posted Sep 13 2013 8:40PM - TAMMI GARDNER, Kansas City, MO

Tammi, it appears you are hiking correct? The trail through Sedalia has many road crossings but it is pretty simple to find on a bike since it has many arrows on the road. The motorists at crossings are pretty common so if you haven't hiked or biked much (I'm guessing from your numerous posts on this forum) you need to be more aware of your surroundings. Just
a word of advice.
posted Sep 14 2013 11:35AM - Pseudio

My Girlfriend and I biked into Sedalia a couple of weeks ago. I would agree it is a little confusing. And to the person above, we were very aware of our surrounds, we had to be incase we had to dodge bullets. We live in downtown Saint Louis and were very frightened by the area that the trail tooks us through when we got to Sedalia. It did not help that while waiting for our train in the morning an officer was talking to us about how she has no idea why they make the Katy trail go through what is by far thier most high crime area.
posted Nov 6 2013 1:49PM - Jeff, St. Louis

Jeff, I respectfully disagree. Going north/east through the neighborhood that you take to get back to the rail trail from the Sedalia depot I have never felt threatened. The area might be old, but that does not make it unsafe.
posted Nov 6 2013 2:32PM - ArkyKenny

I've ridden several times from the depot north/east and didn't have any trouble following the markings. The thought of being frightened or feeling like I may need to dodge bullets never entered my mind. Maybe I was too busy enjoying the ride to realize I was in danger. And you live in downtown St. Louis?
posted Nov 6 2013 2:57PM - Trek

I have friends in St. Louis who get "scared" when traveling to rural areas. On the flip side, I'm a rural guy and when I go to St. Louis yes, there are times / places I don't feel comfortable, and my St. Louis friends would think I'm crazy. Fish out of water...

Sedalia is fine. Scott Joplin invented ragtime there.
posted Nov 6 2013 6:17PM - Hank

Hummmmm.......high crime area in Sedalia vs. high crime area in St. Louis. Dwell on that a bit.

Some day there will be a Katy Trail spur that goes to Kansas City. If that spur goes through the Bannister Mall/Swope Park area, we can compare and contrast KC to StL, but until then, I'll take my chances in Sedalia.
posted Nov 7 2013 9:25AM - ArkyKenny

Barney probably thought there was high crime in Mayberry too. Had to deal with Otis every day ya know.
posted Nov 7 2013 12:10PM - Anonymous

I think it all comes down to what you're used to. We love riding to Cooper's Landing for some Thai food and a few beers but I've seen posts here that portray it like something right out of the movie Deliverance. That's the great thing about the Katy. There is something that for everybody's comfort level.
posted Nov 7 2013 10:10PM - Jim, St Thomas

Wow. You guys are a bit harsh. I highly doubt Jeff was comparing Sedalia to east STL. Just making a point, and I agree with him. I have felt very uncomfortable riding through that part of Sedalia many times. And no it's not because it's old. That's just silly. It is a very sketchy area. The fact that a police officer confirmed that it has the highest crime rate I think is proof. Not only that, but I have also heard Sedalia has petitioned to make the trail go around that point in town. I'm not trying to discourage riding through Sedalia by any means. I just wish I had a heads up before the first time I rode through Sedalia.
posted Nov 8 2013 12:55AM - Lauren

Yes Trek I do live in downtown Saint Louis and I have no doubt that you were too far into your own world to notice any danger in Sedalia as you seem to be there for most post on here, perhaps that's why you come off as such a jerk on here. I did not literally mean I thought I was going to have to duck bullets. Though as the person above me mentioned, I little heads up would have went a long way. It is a very run down area with an extremely rough looking crowd that seemed to stare at us with a pretty serious/ intimidating look till were out of their site.
posted Nov 8 2013 1:32AM - Jeff

So Trek did not have the problems you did, he is capable of using the English language properly and he disagreed with you. How does that make him a jerk? Maybe Ray will pull these last few comments as they don't seem to have any benefit to others.
posted Nov 8 2013 7:15AM - Doug, Bluffton

I agree the markings getting you through Sedalia are not the best. But, it's a trail and adventure, sure you may make a wrong turn and be a block off until getting back on track, so what, enjoy the adventure. The trail goes through a poorer section of town, so what.
I am with Trek, he is a straight shooting guy who always has a well thought out reply.
posted Nov 8 2013 8:42AM - Billy, Mokane

Thanks Billy...but this one is not a well thought out reply. It will only solidify that I am a jerk, but there a few loose ends here. I am not under duress and am exercising my own freewill at this moment.

There was a study done years ago that was referred to as The Harvard Study. In a nutshell, it stated that people gave you what you expected from them. Jeff has no doubt that being too far in my own world to notice danger in Sedalia is perhaps why I come off as a jerk here. Not just a jerk...but one with a matter of degree...such a jerk. Or something like that. It got kind of confusing there how my own world, danger in Sedalia, as I seem to be there for most posts on here, correlates to being a jerk of any degree. But oh well. I'm guessing later he'll say he didn't mean all that literally anyway.

Because you failed to bring enough gum for everyone Jeff, I'll help you out.

ArkyKenny...for not noticing danger in Sedalia, here is your gum. You are a jerk. For respectfully disagreeing with Jeff, I take that back. You get no gum. You are not a jerk. Spot on Jeff...you got a good read on Arky.

Jim, St Thomas...for not noticing danger at Cooper's Landing and then lowering your guard with alcohol while you're thereā€¦.unbelievable! Take the whole pack. You deserve it. You are such a jerk.

Jeff...stay away from Cooper's Landing. It is not for you. If you want some gum, hook up with Jim.
posted Nov 8 2013 12:02PM - Trek

Jim, St Thomas...I did not mean that literally. My most sincere apologies to you. You are not a jerk...pretty brave though getting drunk and all hopped up on Thai food at Cooper's Landing! Sorry if you thought you were getting gum.

Jeff...I did mean what I told you. A little heads up...it's probably best to just stay away from Cooper's Landing. It is not for you. And no one really got gum.
posted Nov 8 2013 12:59PM - Trek

I have been to coopers landing, am actually a fan of coopers landing. Not a clue how you think that compares to Sedalia.
posted Nov 8 2013 2:07PM - Jeff

If you needed a little heads up about places along the trail so you could avoid those that might make you feel uncomfortable, you would probably find more reasons to question Cooper's Landing than the short strech through Sedalia.

Thats an observation made based on years of reading this forum. Jim referenced that when he said about Cooper's Landing "but I've seen posts here that portray it like something right out of the movie Deliverance."
posted Nov 8 2013 2:40PM - Trek

All the hippie chicks with multiple piercings, dreadlocks, and batons that are on fire make me a little uncomfortable at Pedaler's Jamboree on Labor Day weekend in Booneville. Beware! Some people may also need a "Heads up."

I have also found that if you stay in the middle of the crowd in front of the stage, you don't have to be that close to them.

I just thought that I'd throw that little pearl out there for anyone, who like me, is afraid of THOSE KIND OF PEOPLE......
posted Nov 8 2013 3:58PM - ArkyKenny

Both Sedalia and Coopers Landing have too many 47 percenters for me.
posted Nov 8 2013 6:47PM - Mitt Romney, Not in the White House

I always find myself a little jumpy whilst rolling through Treloar.
posted Nov 8 2013 6:48PM - Hank

Holy jumpin trek, you're right. I'm stupid. You're smart. I was wrong. You were right. You're the best. I'm the worst. You're very good looking. I'm not very attractive.
posted Nov 8 2013 8:13PM - Jeff

I like these lively posts especially by the "fathers of the trail". I have an idea for Ray. Assign an increasing amount of Barney bullets (maximum 4 bullets) depending on the danger, to each town along the trail. So what do you think? 2 or 3 bullets for Sedalia?
posted Nov 9 2013 8:49AM - Fun Forum Poster

Think they did shoot deliverance at Coopers landing. Pretty sure they got the cast from Deon's bar and grill. Got to love the characters hanging around both places.
posted Nov 9 2013 11:57AM - Billy, Mokane

You all know that Ray gets a big kick out of this type of banter, come on Ray admit it...
posted Nov 9 2013 11:59AM - Billy, Mokane

I like the bullet idea. I say 4 for Sedalia, 2 for Pilot Grove. It will all even out though, there are towns like Augusta and Rocheport that are around negative 2 bullets
posted Nov 9 2013 12:24PM - Jeff

I think the reason this thread caught fire is that I took issue with some people who spouted off about how "unsafe" an area is, when they don't know what they are talking about. I'm sure there are bad folks on the Katy, but so far, I have not crossed their path.

One of the best times I had on the trail was at a bar (that will go unnamed here) with a group of people I would not normally hang out with. The bar was full and some people at a table saw me, a weary rider, who needed a seat. At their table were 4 or 5 drunk farmers (3 of whom had pistols), an old lady with a cochlear implant, a woman with 2 small kids running around, and another guy who was either real quite, or deaf. They were taking shots of homemade pumpkin wine with PGA added to it (that they brought with them). I passed on the wine, but we had a great time!

That is not my typical crowd, but I was safer there than any number of other places. I have had numerous other similar experiences on the Katy. I've never been shown anything but gracious accommodation from lots of people, many of whom very different from me.

So it bothers me when someone assumes the worst about people because they live in a poor, older neighborhood.
posted Nov 9 2013 6:02PM - ArkyKenny

It bothers me when a JERK like Trek promises someone a whole pack of gum and then backs out of the deal.
posted Nov 9 2013 6:53PM - Jim, St Thomas

Yes absolutely, what ArkyKenny said! Been through Sedalia many times on the trail, and never had any reason to consider that someone may do me harm. I'm way more concerned with cars and trucks coming at all angles because of the way the trail goes through town. Being concerned about bullets flying,,, I think not. But hey, be safe, feel safe, what ever it takes for ya!

Did someone say something about hippie chicks with flaming batons? Oooh, not with you on that one ArkyKenny, I may have to come down off the hill next year at the Pedaler's Jamboree. A little risk probably won't hurt!
posted Nov 9 2013 7:28PM - Darrell, Jeff City, Mo.

Did some website checking about violent crimes in MO for 2012. Some towns along the trail show amounts based on population. Sedalia - 21k pop. - 101, St. Charles - 66k - 105, Columbia - 100k - 476, Jeff City - 43k - 261, Hermann - 2k - 2, Washington - 14k - 19, Boonville - 8k - 26, Clinton - 9k - 47. I included StL City - 350k - 5664 and StL County - 300k - 1005.
posted Nov 9 2013 9:03PM - Pseudio

Yes, these kinds of threads sometimes push the envelope a bit. We're a friendly crowd here and usually keep things pretty civil even when disagreeing, unlike the trash-talking that you see regularly on most web forums. Obviously this topic struck a nerve with a lot of folks, and lively discussions are fun if we can all avoid taking things too seriously.

As for the east side of Sedalia, yeah I've had a few unfriendly stares from people hanging out on their front porch smoking as I rode by. But personally, I have always felt more threatened by the cars than by the people on foot. Sure there could be opportunity for crime, but I have never heard of anything like that happening to Katy Trail travelers in that area.

This forum is a highly unscientific sample, but we get a lot more "danger" stories about threatening dogs in rural areas and crazy drivers, as opposed to shady people on foot.
posted Nov 9 2013 10:43PM - Ray (webmaster)

This would probably be a good time to thank Ray again for his skills moderating this site. It can get a little contentious from time to time but, as a rule, it's a lot more civilized than most of the interweb. Thanks again Ray for all of your time and effort.
posted Nov 10 2013 4:34PM - Jim, St Thomas

You're right Ray. My biggest "scare" ever on the Katy was a dog. Came out of nowhere in the middle of the woods and I found out how fast I really could pedal (once in the past 10 years). Have never felt threatened by anyone of the human sort. So far the "Play nice, mind my manners and don't make waves" way of thinking has done me well.
posted Nov 11 2013 9:00AM - MAH

My biggest scare on the Katy was when a running deer jumped from the brush and landed about two feet in front of me and then slid on her side across and to the other side of the trail. Came out of nowhere in the middle of nowhere. I found out how fast I too could slide with the brakes locked up.

For those of you who have been stared at, how do you know that someone is staring at you? Don't you have to be looking at them at the same time to know that they are still looking at you? Do those folks in Sedalia wonder why some bike riders stare at them while they ride past?
posted Nov 11 2013 9:50AM - Trek

I know what your talking about. Shot, I just wave and say "Howdy" figuring that their glasses prescriptions are out of date and they can't afford or have been unable to get new ones. I always feel safe on the Katy Trail.
posted Nov 11 2013 1:01PM - Billy, Mokane

I guess my biggest danger on the Katy trail would be almost ascidently running over a copperhead a few times near Klondike Park. Anyone else ever see them basking in the middle of the trail?
posted Nov 13 2013 10:58AM - Jeff

I do a 100k ride through many Chicago neighborhoods in late August early on a Sunday morning, Four Star Ride. I have that same feeling sometime but the staring is more at rest stops by the people of many colors who think I'm stupid crazy with tights on riding a bike in their towns at 6AM on a Sunday morning. It may be the same circumstances in the Sedalia neighborhoods.
posted Nov 15 2013 4:17PM - Fun Forum Poster

MAYBE Jeff and his girlfriend are just really good looking. I have a problem with people staring at me all the time: Especially when I'm wearing my bike shorts.

OK.........Not really.
posted Nov 15 2013 4:46PM - ArkyKenny

Perhaps. The gf really carried the team there though
posted Nov 16 2013 2:46AM - Jeff

Tags: Sedalia, Hotel Frederick, Best Western Inn Modify Tags

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